Bemidji State University and the University of North Dakota had played a scrappy game with plenty of excitement for the first 79 of the standard 90 minutes in Wednesday evening’s soccer matchup at the BSU soccer complex.
Neither team was able to find the net, and both goalies made amazing saves during the game to keep the score at 0-0. That was before Danielle Uphoff decided it was time for the Bemidji State soccer team to get its first win of the season.
The reserve sophomore forward from Brainerd, Minn., scored two goals in the final 11 minutes of regulation to give the Beavers (1-1-1) their first victory of the year, while also handing North Dakota (2-1-0) its first loss of the young season.
“How can you put it into words, it was just an amazing effort by our girls,” BSU coach Jim Stone said. “They willed themselves to the victory. They wanted it right from the opening whistle all the way to the final whistle.”
The first of the two goals came in the 79th minute, when Kara Smyth (Fr., Cary, Ill.) weaved between a couple North Dakota defenders deep in Fighting Sioux territory. After getting around the opponents, she found Uphoff on the left side of the net, who beat the UND goalie for the first goal of the game.
North Dakota stepped up its offense after that goal, and scrambled to try to find the equalizer with the clock ticking down.
Bemidji State made sure there would be no tie, as Uphoff put the game out of reach in the 89th minute by scoring her second goal of the contest to make the score 2-0. The goal was set up by a shot that was deflected by the UND goalkeeper, which practically fell into Kelly Hyvare’s (Jr., Coon Rapids, Minn.) lap. She took advantage of the open net, passed to a wide-open Uphoff, and she did the rest by knocking it into the net.
“It’s hard to talk about one individual because it was such a great team effort, but (Uphoff) fulfilled her role of being a spark off the bench for us,” Stone said. “We needed her to come off the bench and provide that spark, and that’s exactly what she did for us tonight.”
The two goals gave Uphoff five points on the season, and the assist by Hyvare was the first point of the year for Bemidji State’s leading scorer the past two seasons. Smyth now has three points in 2007.
Jessica Meath (Jr., Bethel, Minn.) played the entire game in net for BSU. She recorded six saves, all in the first half, while not allowing a goal. Her counterpart, Lauren Sera of North Dakota, also played the entire game, but gave up two goals while recording nine saves.The victory over UND was also the first time in program history that Bemidji State had defeated the Fighting Sioux. Coming into the contest, the Beavers were 0-7 all-time against North Dakota, and had only scored a combined three goals in those games.
The Beavers will look to continue their solid play, and perhaps begin a winning streak, when they set out on their first road trip of the season Saturday. Bemidji State will travel to Fargo, N.D., to take on North Dakota State University, with a game-time of 11 a.m.